Betsy DeVos: Public Team Player and Tenacious Political Player

As she heads towards the end of her first year as U.S. Secretary of Education, political leaders and others are learning a bit more about Betsy DeVos. DeVos serves as the Secretary of Administration in the Cabinet of President Donald Trump.


The confirmation process for DeVos fairly can be described as rocky. Her confirmation hearing was tough. She barely won confirmation to the positon, the Vice President called in to break a tie vote.


Once over the hurdle of getting confirmed, DeVos went directly to work. One of the first steps she took was to reach out to the leaders of the two largest school teachers unions. She asked to meet with these union officials. One responded immediately and opened a line of communication with the Secretary. The other has decided to take a wait and see approach, electing to make a decision as to whether or not to maintain regular communication with DeVos at a later date.


Early during her tenure, DeVos was faced with Trump contemplating overturning an Obama era policy that addressed the use of public school bathrooms by transgender individuals. President Barack Obama established a policy that permitted public school students the ability to select a restroom to use based on their personal gender identity. Trump indicated his desire to overturn the policy.


DeVos initially was opposed to overturning the Obama Administration policy regarding transgender students and restrooms. She lobbied the President privately to keep the Obama policy in place. In the end, Trump did not agree with DeVos and announced his decision to reverse the Obama policy.


Once the President made his decision, DeVos was on board. In fact, she spoke at a major conservative convention after the President’s policy was announced. She spoke in a manner that made it impossible to ascertain that she ever opposed the President’s decision.


Prior to the President announcing the policy change, DeVos called representatives of LGBT and transgender employees in the Department of Education to meet with her. She told these individuals of the upcoming policy change. She also explained that she had been opposed to the policy alteration, and had tried to convince the President to keep the Obama policy in place. She did explain that once the President made his decision, she would have to stand by the chief executive.


When coming to Washington to be part of the Trump Cabinet, many D.C. insiders wrote DeVos off as a lightweight novice. In fact, before starting her tenure with the Trump Administration, DeVos had a great deal of political experience under her belt. Learn more:


DeVos served as the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. Her husband ran for Governor of Michigan.


In addition, she has long been an advocate for school choice. In this regard, she has been heavily involved in campaigns in different states on behalf of school choice. This includes successful voucher campaigns in a number of locations. She is described by her colleagues as being a highly skillful political strategist and a tireless advocate for causes in which she believes.